by the Yanoun team
On the 19th of April 2015, eighteen army tanks, with their corresponding military supports arrived in the fields of Tell al Khashaba. A week later, additional military vehicles and helicopters came to the village and began military exercises. Farmers looked on in impotent horror as the tanks rolled up and down their fields and destroyed their crops. The crops, primarily grains such as wheat, are an important source of food and of income for the farmers. They plant once every two years, without this harvest they will struggle meet their basic needs.
Tell al Khashaba, or Tawayel as it is commonly known, is a small village located in Area C of the Northern West Bank. The land surrounding the village was declared a Closed Military Zone by the Israeli government when it assumed full control of over 60% of the West Bank in 1995. The Israel army often conducts military training exercises on the agricultural land of local farmers.The villagers here live under the constant threat of eviction and house demolition for ‘military purposes’. These military exercises severely disrupts both the lives and livelihoods of the twenty one families living here.
Once again the villagers and their livelihoods have come under attack. The army gave no warning and ignored the farmer’s requests for them to conduct their training in a field, which did not have crops in it. Later that day they withdrew, to another location, in the Jordan Valley. The villagers pick up the pieces and wait for the next time, saying:
‘They cannot succeed because we have our soul in the ground, they can destroy the crops but they will not succeed in scaring us away’.
Write to your elected representatives and ask them to support the call from Palestinian Organisations to the EU and member states to ‘Act now on Israeli Military Training‘.